Weilers running shoes have seen their share of competition during the past year, having completed the Detroit Marathon on October 24. She also competed in the Interlochen and Chicago Triathlons as well as the Chicago Marathon, where she joined family, friends and 32,000 other runners in a trek through the Windy City.
The Weiler family ran as a group, joined by all three of her children and one sons girlfriend. I think one son (a serious bicyclist from California) came to really appreciate marathons Im not sure that hell ever do another one.
MAKING THE SWITCH
After competing in several marathons, Weiler decided to turn her attention to triathlons instead.
Im a hiker, a biker and I love to swim, she said. After running the Chicago Marathon, I thought that it might be better on my body if I wasnt pounding the same muscles over and over again.
So Weiler, who has lived in Empire for the past 10 years, began training for the Olympic length competition consisting of a six-mile run, 26-mile bike ride and a one-mile swim. She completed both in just under four hours 3:49 in Interlochen and 3:38 in Chicago, crediting the improved Chicago time to flat terrain.
At Interlochen you finish running with a gigantic hill right at the end, Weiler said. It went straight up and I just groaned. That was the 11-minute difference.
Weiler took first place in her age class in Chicago, and continues a daily training regimen which includes a one mile swim every day during the summer as well as frequent trips to the biking and hiking trails.
Its much more interesting to train, Weiler said, Its seems less concentrated but Im convinced its better for your body.
Weilers love of sports began early. She was a cheerleader in her West Lafayette High School Class of 1954, but found most official high school sports off limits to girls. An avid tennis player, she had to play pick-up games with Purdue students to get the chance to hit the courts.
Physical fitness for women wasnt valued, Weiler said, noting that, as a result, you dont see many older women competing in marathons or triathlons alongside the men.
But I suspect this generation of 30-40 year olds will be different... I predict that they will do these difficult sports for a very long time.
Weiler has been pleased with the response shes received as an older athlete.
At first I thought others would wonder what I was doing there, she said, but just the opposite was true several actually said, I hope thats where Ill be when Im your age.
There is so much camaraderie and support, Weiler said. Most people just want to finish and they encourage each other. There arent many endeavors in life that theres that much encouragement and camaraderie.
Its just marvelous! she said. After Chicago, my son said, youre a rock star.